Archives for April 2015

Achieve Your Goals Through Religious Counseling

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Most people need counseling at some point in their lives. Nobody can go through all of life’s trials and hardships alone. Sometimes things happen in life that are too big to carry by yourself. This is why counseling has always been part of life, ever since the Counselor imparted wisdom to the disciples to relieve others from their burdens. Often there’s a greater purpose to why something’s happening that isn’t always obvious—and that’s where spiritual counseling can help you grow; reflecting on the events that life brings our way.

Grief, Trauma and Bereavement

Traumatic experiences, such as the death of a loved one or the pain of an abusive relationship, can cause us to question the greater purpose of life. Tragedy has a way of taking away hope in our lives, often when we need it most. In this, spiritual counseling can often help far more than most modern forms of counseling, which focus on diagnosing what can simply be observed as pain. Relief from the pain of the traumatic is something that requires a constant reminder: That we are always loved, and that suffering is something temporary and meant to give us an opportunity to see something greater than our own lives, which in turn raises us past the suffering of the present and brings us closer to a brighter tomorrow.

Major Life Changes

Not every change, however, is based on trauma. Spiritual counseling allows and helps us to make decisions that will be greater for us in the long term. Whether that means a career change, personal changes in your life where you need guidance to make the right choices, or just exploring healthy changes in your own life; spiritual counseling helps you look at a greater picture, where making choices that can affect you for months or years to come can be made in terms of your long-term happiness and success. With two thousand years of experience through the guidance of God’s Word, you too can make smart decisions that will prepare you for a life with more peace and fewer regrets.

Hard Questions

Often, people have questions that aren’t easily answered in modern counseling. Why are we here? How do we know what’s right or wrong? Where do I fit in this world? And these questions don’t have easy answers, but they are available to us. Counselors who make use of God’s Word have those answers and can take them and apply them to your life. It’s easy to say, “We’re here because God made us,” but how that applies in our personal lives often requires a deeper answer that shows us where we are in our own earthly and spiritual relationships. This is where spiritual counseling can take those difficult questions and identify where they are affecting you personally.

Reaching Out To A Higher Purpose To Achieve Your Goals

Part of the value of spiritual counseling is to  take advantage of God’s will for you, leading you to a happier and more productive life. By discovering what spiritual counseling can do in your life, you can reach new personal heights and live a life you never dreamed possible. Counseling, coupled with the Word, allows you to live the life you were meant to live, even if you could never picture it before!

Family days out for all to enjoy

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If you have a family, you are almost certain to have experienced issues when trying to organise a day out that everyone can enjoy; this is especially true if there is a wide age gap and when both girls and boys are involved. Fortunately, the UK has many options for family days out to satisfy all, from toddlers to teens and even grandparents.

Theme parks

Theme parks such as Alton Towers, Thorpe Park and Drayton Manor feature attractions to suit all age groups. While there are the stomach-churning rollercoasters, you will also find gentler alternatives – perfect for younger age groups – as well as 4D cinemas, aquariums and themed hotels, should you decide to stay for a couple of days. Chessington World of Adventures, West Midland Safari & Leisure Park and Flamingo Land started life as zoos or safari parks and have gone on to add rides and accommodation, giving them extra appeal for those of you who wish to spend some time in more peaceful surroundings. Order your tickets well in advance and consider staying for a couple of days to give yourself time to visit all the attractions.

British Grand Prix

For a really exciting weekend, why not take your family off to the British Grand Prix at Silverstone? The 2015 event takes place on Sunday 5 July, with practice and qualifying on the previous two days. This is your only opportunity to see the world’s best racing drivers competing in ultra-sophisticated F1 cars in the UK, so why not reserve a place at one of the circuit’s campsites and soak up all the excitement and atmosphere of one of the fastest and most demanding tracks on the motorsport calendar? The UK has produced a string of world champions since the F1 World Drivers’ Championship began in 1950, when the first UK round was held at Silverstone; they include legendary drivers such as Mike Hawthorne, Jim Clark, Graham and Damon Hill, Jackie Stewart, Nigel Mansell and, more recently, Jenson Button and current champion, Lewis Hamilton. London-born Max Mosley, himself an ex-racing driver and former president of the sport’s governing body, the FIA, did much to raise safety standards at circuits around the world for both drivers and spectators. The Grand Prix weekend is about much more than just the racing though; there are after-race parties, concerts, kids’ treasure hunts, comedy clubs and radio controlled cars.

Seaside resorts

Pile everyone into the car, not forgetting buckets and spades, and spend a day at the seaside. Whether it’s Blackpool or Brighton, Weston-super-Mare or Skegness, Rhyl or Margate, UK resorts are enjoying something of a renaissance as families rediscover the simple pleasures of building sandcastles, taking in an end of the pier show, riding the rollercoasters, or simply sitting back and relaxing on a traditional deckchair.

Finding fun things to do on a family day out, no matter what your budget, has never been easier thanks to the internet. Whether you choose to plan ahead or be completely spontaneous, get out there and enjoy quality time with your nearest and dearest.

The Perfect Patio for Entertaining Guests

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There are a few things to consider when creating the perfect patio space to entertain and impress guests this summer. According to TRUEGRID, a patio space in the yard or garden offer the ideal venue for dinner parties, cocktail receptions, or simply a quiet conversation space to engage with friends. There are some cool and creative decorating tips that can be adapted to fit the specific theme of the day, as well as overall hints for using a patio for summer entertaining and outdoor parties; however, the perfect patio for hosting guests relies on a few basic features and fixtures. Before summer events and get togethers, consider the following essentials needed to transform a patio into the perfect party space.

Surface

The first thing to consider is the patio’s surface. Is it smooth and flat or textured? It may also be possible to add extended living space from the existing patio with interlocking patio tiles or stone pavers set into the earth. These can create a comfortable, intimate patio space quickly and easily.

Seating

If guests are coming, it is nice to have a place to sit. Choose outdoor furnishings wisely. Comfy, upholstered furnishings will take up a lot of space, so more streamlined accessories may be more practical for those that entertain larger groups. Bistro sets provide a great, resilient dining set, and several of these can turn the patio into a perfect party venue. Talk with contractors about bench seating around the patio, providing a border of sorts, to optimize the space of the feature.

Utilities

According to TRUEGRID (click here), the epitome of convenience is to have access to an outdoor kitchen when entertaining guests. If this is simply not practical, set up the grill or a barbecue nearby. A fire-pit may provide the only item needed, and can be used for roasting hot dogs, making s’mores, or keeping warm, without the investment of outdoor kitchen fixtures.

Protection

A patio cover will provide both shade and protection from rain, which are both integral characteristics of the perfect party patio. These make it possible to sip tea comfortably during a warm summer rain shower, as well as prevent outdoor parties from becoming a disaster during extreme weather conditions. An investment in a great patio cover or awning is a prudent one.

 

Lighting

An adequate lighting system is a must for the patio, particularly when entertaining, and solar-powered fixtures may not be enough. Provide safe access to the space with stake lights or solar foot-lights, and provide some sort of ambient lighting to illuminate the entire patio as well. Talk with retailers about alternatives to running cords and cables across the patio to provide ample light.

 

Cohesion

Give the patio a bit of cohesion with the natural surroundings by bringing in potted plants, container gardens, or trellis of climbing vines and foliage. These features not only merge the party space of the patio with the natural environment surrounding it, but they also give it an aesthetic allure that will lend to any event or get-together. Create lattice walls with climbing plants such as ivy, wisteria, or roses, to create a romantic, vintage atmosphere in the space.

 

There are few spots in the home that are as tranquil and serene as a lovely summer patio space. These also typically accommodate more people, are less formal, and provide a detour from the confines of a conventional dinner party. Evaluate the patio for these essential features and transform a simple patio into the hub of summer gatherings and entertaining this season!

Buying a new Family Vehicle

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Did you outgrow your car thanks to a new addition to the family? Good news! There are so many vehicles choices these days to make shuttling your family around far more enjoyable. Here are some tips to select the perfect family car.

Size Matters

Car seat laws vary by state, however, in most cases, it is recommended to keep children up to age 12 in a booster seat. Rear and forward facing car seats take up significantly more space than a booster seat and typically make it difficult to use the center space in your back seat. Therefore, if you have more than two children, you’ll need a third row of seating.

Wanting a third row in a car doesn’t limit you to minivans, though. There are several SUVs that feature a third row seat, such as a Chevrolet Tahoe, GMC Yukon, Hyundai Santa Fe or Nissan Rogue.  These SUVs, which have received high ratings from “U.S. News & World Report,” starting at $25,000 and typically get between 16 and 20 miles per gallon.

According to CAR-Research XRM (www.carxrm.com), if a minivan is what you’re after, there are many options that will fit your family comfortably. Some unique features to look for include in-floor storage, which is available in the Chrysler Town and Country, Dodge Grand Caravan and Honda Odyssey. This is great for storing extra toys or sports equipment. While not an entirely new feature, the rear backup camera is something you won’t know how you lived without. Backing out of driveways or parking spaces will be much easier to manage in the large vehicle with the help of the camera. Vehicles that come equipped with a rear camera include Honda Odyssey, Nissan Quest and Toyota Sienna.

Of course, if you’re transporting one or two children, you don’t need to go the route of a large SUV or minivan. According to CAR-Research XRM (www.carxrm.com), there are several wagon crossovers or compact SUV options to choose from that will still give you enough cargo space for a family road trip or to cart around all of the sporting equipment. Many feature low gas mileage, ride higher than traditional sedans and are available in luxury brands, such as Audi, BMW and Cadillac.

Getting the Best Value

One of the challenges of purchasing a family vehicle is that they need to be large enough to accommodate your family, which means they typically get poor gas mileage. Fortunately, there are now large vehicles available in hybrid and fuel efficient models. The Toyota Hylander Hybrid gets 28 miles per gallon on the highway and the Mitsubishi Outlander boasts an impressive 31 miles per gallon on the highway – better than some large sedans!  Meanwhile, the Honda Odyssey gets 28 miles per gallon in the city. While some of these vehicles cost more initially, the overall cost can be lower since you will fill them up far less often.

Creature Comforts

Once you’ve figured out your must haves, you can consider some of the softer features. Is it the right height to get your kids in and out easily, particularly when they are still in a rear facing car seat? Are the seats easy to move? Do the doors open automatically? It may not seem like much, but when your hands are full with baby and groceries, a door that automatically opens is pretty great!

So, whether you’re buying for a family of three, five or six, there are a variety of vehicles available to meet your family’s needs. From crossover to minivan, you’ll surely find the right fit.

How To Create The Perfect Bathroom For Your Family Home-based

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While most of us will be love to have a bathroom that is perfect in every way for the whole family, it can often feel out of our reach.  After all, if a bathroom is going to be perfect for all the members of your family, both the old and the young. There are certain things it needs to have.  Space is important, but this may not be possible.  The issue of space can be worked with if you ensure that there is accessible storage space.  Ideally a bathroom should have wipeable surfaces to help with cleaning and because it’s a wet room; and a bath.

In the following article you will find tips for creating a bathroom that will work well for the whole family.

Use Available Space Effectively

Usually, the bathroom is the smallest room in the house and so you have to be very clever when it comes to the subject of storage.  Instead of looking at freestanding basins and pedestals, you should instead look at buying a large cupboard with space at the top for a basin and taps.  Multi-purpose designer bathroom furniture not only looks good but makes the most of the limited space available.  You can help this kind of cupboard to blend into the background by either getting it in the same colour scheme as your walls and the rest of the décor in the bathroom, or by painting it to match.

Tile

f you have young children you will know how much they enjoy splashing about in the basin and bath.  It is therefore a good idea to consider either tiling walls near the sink and bath  or the entire room.  Not only does this make it waterproof, it also gives you surfaces that are easy to wipe and wash clean and can help a simple bathroom to feel like a family bathroom.

Purchase A Stool

Children always have a good time in the kitchen, pottering around and especially imitating the actions of other, older family members.  If your children cannot reach the toilet or basin they will probably feel frustrated.  Purchase either a stool or a step and then everyone can have access to the areas of the bathroom that they need to, to help them how to do things for themselves.

Purchase An Economical Flushing System

Large families and those with young children, should always consider purchasing an environmentally friendly toilet.  Nowadays this is not something too difficult to obtain as the majority of toilets include a dual flush cistern that allow you to choose between a long or short flush.  As well as being kinder to the environment, it will also save you money from your water bill.

Purchase Taps For People With Little Fingers

The taps in your bathroom need to be easy to access and use for people of all ages, which means they have to be suitable for youngsters.  They should be easy to turn or switch on and off and be strong enough to handle a lot of use.  Mixer taps are obviously recommended as they will help avoid accidents that involve in little ones hand’s getting scolded.

How to Add Luxury to Your Home Without Breaking the Bank

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Living the simple life is a great idea but we all yearn for a bit of luxury at some point. The good news is that there are some simple ways of adding some luxury to your home without spending as much as you think.

Which of the following affordable methods sounds best to you?

Get a Hot Tub

When I think about a luxury home I automatically picture a steaming hot tub in which to relax. This just seems like the perfect way to unwind in style after a tough day. It might seem like the kind of impossibly expensive luxury item that only millionaire actors and rock stars can enjoy but that isn’t true. There are now some incredible hot tubs on the market that don’t cost anywhere near what you might think. Inflatable portable hot tubs can be the perfect solution for those of us who want to live the good life but don’t want to pay out too much for it.

Install a Sauna Cabin

I had always wanted to try a sauna and the first time I did I was hooked. It is a great feeling to be in there with all that heat and steam. Taking a sauna regularly is also said to be an excellent way of losing weight and of staying healthy. I had always assumed that sauna cabins were wildly expensive pieces of equipment but it turns out that they aren’t.  One of these can add a real touch of style to your home without being too expensive to buy.  In the long run it is going to be cheaper than heading out to your local spa every time you want a sauna session, just as it would be cheaper to buy your own hot tub than use a rented one all the time.

Get an Orangery

Orangeries and greenhouses are relatively common where I live but that doesn’t stop me from seeing them as being incredibly classy additions to any house. Orangeries became common in the UK back in the 17th an 18th centuries. They were used on big, impressive house and proved ideal for growing oranges and other tropical plants. These days, a good orangery is expensive but is still within the reach of many of us. Just imagine sitting back in the warmth of your own greenhouse with a cool drink and something good to read. Dozing off in here sounds like it is by far the most stylish way to have a nap during the day.

Choose a Bigger Bed     

If you have never considered whether to get a bigger bed then maybe this is the time to do so. Moving up to a king sized or super king sized model will instantly give your bedroom a fabulous new look to it. It will also be a more comfortable place for you to sleep, especially if you share your bed with your partner. Go for the best bed and mattress you can afford and you won’t ever regret buying it.

Get a New Phone and Earn Money on Your Old One

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These days we all want the best and most up to date mobile phone as soon as it is released. Whether you live in the country or in the big city you are sure to feel the urge to get a smart new phone at some point.

Of course, one of the main reasons why we don’t all do this as often as we would like is that it costs more than most people can afford. The newest mobile phones look great and are packed with features but you need to pay a lot of money to buy one. What if your budget doesn’t quite stretch to getting you the model you really want to own?

Well, one way of affording a cool new mobile is to sell your old one for some cash. It would be even better if you have a few old phones lying around to sell. In either case, you can get some money for getting rid of something you no longer use and never intend to ever use again.

Easy to Arrange

You might think that selling your unwanted mobile phone is likely to be a complicated process that involves hawking it around lots of people face to face or on the internet. The truth is that it is far easier to arrange this than you might think that it would be.  All you have to do is go to a site such as SellMyPhone.co.uk, where you can instantly find out how much you will get for your old device. It is so easy to arrange that you can get it sold and receive the money very quickly.

Sell More Than One Phone

What if you have more one old mobile phone at home you no longer use? In this case, you can sell them all and get cash for them. If you have changed mobiles a few times over the last few years then you might have old models that you have completely forgotten about. It is well worth taking a look through the drawers and cupboards at home to see whether you have any phones lurking there that you could sell for some cash. The more you sell the more money you get, so it pays to be thorough and find all of the old phones you might have stored away somewhere.

Sell Broken Phones Too

Don’t get put off the idea if you only have old phones that are broken or that you used until they ended up all worn and tired looking. You can sell any type of phone in this way. The reason for this is that even broken phones have some useful and valuable parts that can be taken out of them. You can sell just about any type of mobile phone in this way and can also cash in on any unwanted tablets you have at home. No matter what condition your device is in you should give the process a try and see how much you could get for it.

Balance and Your Health as a Mom

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As a mom, you’re likely running around all day tending to the needs of your family while also trying to fit in a solid day’s work. Whether you have a half hour or a couple of hours to devote to physical fitness, it is important to set aside a portion of your day to foster an active lifestyle. One way to achieve a physical and emotional well-being is to practice your ability to balance and strengthen your core. The role of balance when it comes to your active lifestyle is an important one; without it, you will lose coordination in everything from sports to everyday hobbies like golf or gardening.

Balance Equals Agility

When you maintain good balance techniques, you can achieve greater success in your fitness routines, daily exercises, and sports with a blend of coordination, agility and balance, according to Revolution Balance Boards. Why do you need balance? As an active mom, you must be able to change direction quickly, and coordinate your movement accurately and consistently. Whether you’re running to the school to pick up your children, walking down the hall in your home, or doing yoga at the local studio, balance is a crucial component of any daily activity. As a mom with lots of activities to juggle, it’s even more essential to hone this balancing skill.

Honing Balance

In order to engage in proprioception, the sense of how your body is positioned, you must work on maintaining stability so that you can not only react promptly to a change in direction, but also avoid getting hurt during your workout. This involves strengthening your core muscles. When your core muscles, all the muscles in your torso, are weak, it can be troublesome to perform even the most rudimentary of tasks, such as bending down to pick up your child, doing housework, performing well on the job, and participating in any kind of sport, says Harvard Medical School. A strong core means you can increase your stability and balance. This translates to a reduced rate of injury and an improved reaction time to outside stimuli. Moms need this balance even when standing still, for household chores or athletic activities alike. It helps to coordinate in group sports, or individual ones like racquetball and swimming. By increasing your balance, you can also decrease your prevalence for lower back pain, which affects nearly 65 million Americans, according to ShareCare.

Balance Solutions

Do your part to increase your balance ability by performing simple balance exercises every day. A fitness balance board, in particular, is a great tool for practicing, and can challenge even the most uncoordinated of moms to help develop a stronger core and great posture. Using the balance board, try some crunches to strengthen abs and other core muscles. Place the board under your lower back while lying down, lifting your head on the exhale and lowering it on the inhale. Oblique twists can work the side muscles, so hold a medicine ball while standing on the balance board. Twist side to side with your face forward at all times. Try some squats by standing straight on the board, thrusting your hips forward and putting your arms up. Squat and straighten, holding each position for up to 20 seconds.

All you need is 20 minutes a day of balance activities, and you’ll soon notice a striking difference in your core muscles and your ability to balance. Then you’ll be ready to tackle any challenge!

5 Summertime Ideas For Your Little Ones

With the summertime just around the corner, you might have a few ideas for what to do already. If you are unsure about how you’re going to fill the time, you best start thinking of things right now. If you don’t plan ahead, the school break can feel super long. There are loads of ways you can have fun with your kids this summer. The point is to make sure that your children have fun while still learning new things. It might sound like a tall order, but it is possible. Take a look at my five summertime ideas for your little ones.

#1 Go exploring in the countryside

If you are lucky enough to live near the countryside, you should make the most of it. It costs nothing to take your kids out for an ‘exploration’ day trip to a local park or forest. You should, of course, pack some sandwiches for the ride so that your kids don’t get hungry. You can play games and have a competition to see who can identify the most flowers. These little activities do a whole lot to educate your children.

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#2 Create a playground in your yard

If you have a sizable yard space, don’t let it go to waste. Your kids would love it if you created a playground for them in the garden. Having a space where they can play and mess around will mean that they always have something to do. Take a look at this swing set buying guide before you choose swings for your yard. That way, you can make sure that you get the best equipment. You will probably want to get a slide and even a climbing frame as well.

#3 Have a (safe) water fight

If the weather gets hot, there is only going to be one activity your kids want to do. If your children want to have a water fight, you need to make sure that they are safe. Set some ground rules before they start and make sure that they are wearing old clothes. In general, you should tell your kids that they can only throw water in the yard. If they get water in the house, tell them that they will be in big trouble. You should also tell them not to throw water on people’s faces – only their bodies – that way nobody will hurt themselves.

#4 Teach your kids about growing veg

If you have a passion for cooking, you might already have a vegetable patch in your garden. This summer, why not start a veg growing project with your kids. You can let them choose the seeds and plant them. If you give your children special duties, such as watering the plants, they will feel proud when they grow. Teaching your children about growing vegetables is an excellent way to help them learn about food. That way, when they are older, they will understand how to grow food for themselves.

#5 Plan a garden party for your little ones

Finally, if your kids have loads of friends who they want to see during the summer vacation, you should invite them over. You can plan a garden party for your children and their school friends. Decorate the yard so that it looks attractive. You could even have a BBQ for the kids as well. This idea is the perfect way to entertain your little ones, and they will adore socializing with their friends for the day.

Before you know it, it will be the school vacation again, and so you had better start making plans. I hope that my ideas help you when it comes to planning your children’s summer.

7 Safety Tips for Cooking with Kids

7 Safety Tips for Cooking with Kids

Teaching a child to cook is one of the most valuable and useful skills a parent can pass on. Most parents will want to at least teach their kids a few basic meals to help them create a healthy and sustainable habit to use throughout life.

Having kids in the kitchen, however, does pose a new set of concerns for parents. There are a lot of potentially dangerous things that can happen if kids are not informed properly. Here are seven safety tips for cooking with kids to help both kids and parents cook together in the best way possible.

Watch a how-to video

There are a lot of basic safety practices that parents do every single day, but may not know how to explain to their children. In these cases, it is good to have everyone watch an educational video with Directv packages in Texas that can explain everything to both kids and parents.

Keep off-limits items out of reach

Depending on the age of the children, parents might decide that some kitchen items will be off limits to them no matter what. It is important for parents to hide these items away or only use them themselves to keep their kids safe. Some of these items may include knifes or heavy appliances.

Stick around to supervise at all times

Again depending on the age of the children, some tasks may be alright for them to do on their own without supervision. However, it is usually best in all cases for parents to stay nearby to lend a helping hand when needed.

Find a fun way to teach them about cross-contamination

Cross-contamination is often a difficult concept to explain to children because they cannot always see the physical evidence. Parents can find a fun way to explain this by putting dye in water and spreading it around their countertops.

Try to avoid a lot of heat

Almost everything people make in the kitchen involves some sort of heat. A lot of injuries can happen from heat exposure, so this is a concern every parent should address before starting and recipe. Make sure kids are equipped with safety items like hot pads and aprons. Another idea is to try a no-bake recipe.

Instruct safety procedures as the go along

Most often, parents will not be able to think about all the possible safety concerns that they need to tell their kids until they are actually in the kitchen working. Parents can still explain as they go, using the visual aids they have to help their kids better understand the importance of those procedures.

Practice cleanliness after every cooking session

It is easy to want to sit back and relax after enjoying a meal that everyone cooked together and leave the mess for another time. However, this is a prime time to show kids how important clean-up is and the difference it can make in the overall safety of the family kitchen.

Image: http://pixabay.com/en/boy-eating-chocolate-muffin-709943/